There is a subtle headline on the healthcare.gov website that got our attention as we sent our staff to check out the status of the site in the wake of the recent news that the website could not actually process payments.  That news was noteworthy in and of itself, but something else has happened on the healthcare.gov site that should give those who are applying for healthcare through the exchanges.

If you go to healthcare.gov at this moment in time (December 3rd, 2013, 11:14 PM EST at the time of this writing), you will find a headline that reads as follows:

WELCOME TO THE MARKETPLACE: Find health coverage that meets your needs and budget.

Enroll by Dec. 23 for coverage starting as soon as Jan. 1

The troubling part of this headline is that many Americans who have already applied, or will be applying over the next few weeks, may find that come January 1st, they will actually be without health insurance.  The phrase “as soon as Jan. 1” is market-speak for “possibly on January 1st but most likely sometime after January 1st”.  This means that there could be a gap in healthcare coverage for millions of Americans coming January 1st.

According to reports, up to 1/3rd of current enrollments on Healthcare.gov may be filled with errors, which could mean those people are not covered, although they think they are.

For the 10+million Americans who have received cancellation notices, this news could be particularly difficult to swallow.  Here is the screenshot we took to document this headline:

healthcare gov as soon as jan 1 12 3 13
EDITOR’S NOTE:

Regardless of all that, if you go to The Health Sherpa you can know your plan options and deal directly with the insurance providers. So if there are doubts about the main site, going to Health Sherpa seems the best way to make sure you are covered. We have done articles on that. It is easy, simple, and it works.

We are not asserting a coverage gap for any reason but that it appears there will be such a gap as things stand now and we want people to be forewarned. I understand some may disagree with our assessment, but there is a solution: if in doubt go directly to the insurance companies.

Also note: I changed the language to “possibly” and “maybe” in response to reader input. We do not want to over state this, but we do want to make sure people know there could be a problem.

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